Bildet på omslaget er et oljemaleri skapt av undertegnede.

The book is based on the Master thesis with the same title which won the Norwegian Association for Development research MA award 2011

NFU has awarded its prize for the best master thesis in development studies in 2010 to Cecilia G. Salinas.

Salinas investigates everyday life in Fray Bentos, a working town in a rural area where meat packing for a long time was the core industry. The traditional meatpacking industry has been in decline, but for some time a foreign pulp mill appeared to offer new working opportunities. Salinas studies the effect of this industry in rural community focusing on the local carnival as a window to socioeconomic processes and how people themselves understand these processes. Narratives of the past are examined so as to understand how people remember their past and imagine their future. The term «hope» is a significant concept in the analysis and conveys in an precesses and policies. Salinas’ investigates everyday life in Fray Bentos and how the initial euphoria associated with renewed industrial modernity soured. She explores short-lasting glimmers of hope and collective agency in relation to the local carnival.

Salinas discusses their notion of progress and suggests that the power of the idea of progress lies in that it creates hope in a socioeconomic situation where the lack of long term employment opportunities otherwise eliminates all sense of positive expectations. In the last chapter Salinas discusses two different models for social development that have been dominant at different periods of time. In comparison with the old “socially thick” meatpacking industry with dense employment and a huge impact on employment, the new pulp industry was “socially thin”.

Based on a close fieldwork and her anthropological gaze Salinas has developed an innovative approach to the contradictions of neoliberal everyday life.